TEF Provides Over $3.4 Million to Support Venture
Kingston, Jamaica: December 11, 2015 – State Minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment Hon. Damion Crawford has welcomed news that the push to have Kingston designated a Creative City of Music by UNESCO has yielded significant success. This comes on the heels of the official announcement by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, that Kingston was among 10 creative music cities which were designated this year.
The designation resulted from a strategic partnership between the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment through the Entertainment Advisory Board, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and other stakeholders. The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has provided over $ 3.4 million to date to support the venture.
The process was initiated by the Ministry’s Entertainment Advisory Board in 2013 and was aimed at ensuring that Kingston becomes a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, which focuses on resuscitating the economic viability of cities through arts, culture and community. The venture then received overwhelming support from the KSAC which played a pivotal role in facilitating the successful submission of a formal application to have the city designated.
The announcement also follows a recent trip by the Ministry’s Senior Director of Entertainment, Gillian Wilkinson McDaniel and Kingston’s Town Clerk, Robert Hill to Japan to lobby for the designation to be granted at the UNESCO World Creative City Forum.
The detailed application was submitted on July 15, 2015 after several consultations spearheaded by the EAB and the KSAC with partners such as the Urban Development Corporation, University of the West Indies, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica.
Since then, a national steering committee has been formed with the objective of implementing projects across the corporate area which will foster the development of the creative industries in Kingston. “I am very pleased that the initiative was successful and it is further proof that hard-work and partnerships can have a far reaching impact. I am convinced that the designation will help to boost our efforts to position Kingston as a cultural city and will also enhance the appeal of Jamaica to travellers with a special interest in culture,” Minister Crawford expressed.
The Minister also believes that the designation will enhance Jamaica’s competiveness. “I am confident that Kingston’s designation as a Creative Music City will boost our standing as a competitive destination in accordance with the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI),” he said.
UNESCO’s Creative Cities programme was started in 2004 as an initiative to unite cities from across the globe through creative industries. It is policy-driven at the municipal and national level. The network is currently formed by 69 members from 32 countries covering seven creative fields – crafts & folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, music and media arts.
Other cities also recognised creative cities of music include: Tongyeong (Republic of Korea), Varanasi (India), Adelaide (Australia), Idanha-a-Nova (Portugal), Katowice (Poland), Salvador (Brazil), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Liverpool (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and Medellín (Colombia).
For further information contact:
- Alyssa Taffe
- Public Relations Officer
- Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment
- 64 Knutsford Boulevard
- Kingston 5
- Tel: 920-4926-30, ext: 5989
From the perspective of living in Jamaica, Los Angeles seems to be on the other side of the world. Jamaicans even view Europe as closer to home than Los Angeles. It was no wonder then that in the nineteen sixties the people on U. S.
West coast knew very little about the culture of our people except that we had the best ganja (marijuana), reggae, Bob Marley and a tourist destination. Many Angelinos didn’t know the difference between Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados and so on, and then of course there were the questions such as “Isn’t Bob Marley your president?” Communication was limited and sharing cultural experiences was difficult and visiting home was costly and time consuming.
In 1997 four young people decided to share our illustrious culture and multi-faceted life style with our adopted community and at the same time relive some of the wonderful experiences of our homeland. So the concept of Jamaica Cultural Alliance (JCA) was born. The very first attempt was to invite the veteran musician, big bandleader and maker of history the late Cecil “Sonny Bradshaw” and his wife Jamaica’s lady of Jazz “Myrna Hague” Bradshaw, backed up by The Antelope Valley 21 member big band, along with Jamaica’s story teller Joan Andrea (that Bumpy head Gal) Hutchinson from Jamaica for an evening of fine dining, entertainment and dancing. The event was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. So we showed Los Angeles a taste of how we do it in Jamaica.
JCA’s next achievement was to bring the award winning Stella Maris Dance Ensemble (35 members of dancers and crew) for performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, House of Blues Foundation, The Los Angeles Theatre Center and master classes at Long Beach City College. We reveled in the amazement and pleasure exhibited by members of city and county government officials as well as the community at large.
In later years we had the honour of entertain the likes of Pluto Shervington and his band, Marty Dread, Dobby Dobson and others, thus sharing some of the talent and versatility of our people and culture.
In 2002 JCA instituted the JCA Trailblazer award which is given to those who set a standard and Blaze a path in Caribbean Culture and History to establish the rightful place in society.
The first recipient of this award was the late Dr. John Alexander Sommerville who was the first person of African descent to Graduate from the University of Southern California (USC) as a dentist.
In 2003 the Award was given to the now late Justice Ena Lue Sang Allen who was the first woman in the history of the country to be appointed to the high court bench and the first person of Chinese descent to be sworn into the position of Supreme Court Judge.
In 2004 the recipient was the members of the 1988 Jamaica Bob Sled Team.
In 2008 JCA honored Captain Maria Ziadie Haddad as First Female Airline Pilot in the Caribbean – March 05 1979, and the First Female Captain with Air Jamaica July 02, 1996.
In 2014 the recipient was Garth Fagan O.D., Theatre Director, Dancer, Master Choreographer, choreographer of the Lion King . Many others have been given special recognitions such as:
- Ms. Rachael Manley, eldest daughter of the late Hon. Michael Manley.
- Ms. Claudia Rankine Educator, Poet and author.
- Mr. Cleveland O. Neil with the JCA Community Service Award for his honorary service as Jamaican Consul for thirty Four Years.
Most recently we dedicated an event to focus on Bre’r Anansi the childhood folk hero of our history and culture and in 2014 JCA went all out to celebrate the life of the late Dr. the Honorable Louise Bennett Coverly who truly gave credence to our culture JCA also instituted a program of honoring the different races/cultures that make up Jamaica’s rainbow society thus honoring its motto “Out of Many One People”. So far we have highlighted the Chinese and the Jews.
JCA has taken a major step and is embarking on its first community project. Steps are being taken to launch the Caribbean/West Indian Youth Club in partnership with the Blazer Learning Center of Los Angeles. The purpose of this project is to provide a support system for the children who migrate to Los Angeles and often times have difficulty assimilating into the new culture and being accepted by their peers and also to teach and encourage those children born to parents of Caribbean/West Indian origin about the history and heritage. For more information please check with a JCA committee member.
As we continue to educate and share with our adopted community the pride in and love of our culture, we feel the need to take a hard look at how we as West Indians truly value this legacy. We believe that most of us take it for granted and assume that just as we inherited it, so will it endure into infinity. When we converse with young people of our heritage, more and more we find that the legacy is locked in a treasure chest for them; however, present and past generations either do not have or are not willing to give them the key. It is our duty to teach them their history, enlighten them as to trailblazers and role models within their village and empower each one to carry the torch into the future. Indeed, “If you do not know your past/history, how can you strategically chart your future?”